August 15, 2012 — Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting requests from young immigrants for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” The policy of Deferred Action was announced by President Obama on June 15th and allows qualifying immigrants under the age of 31 who came to the U.S. before age 16 – popularly known as DREAMers — to obtain protection from deportation and work permits for at least two years. This represents the first step for more than a million DREAMers to pursue higher education, meaningful employment, and a chance to contribute to this country’s future.
Working through on-the-ground advocacy and legal service providers, the Fund for DREAMers will assist eligible young people, particularly low-income individuals, to defray the $465 application fees. The goal is to maximize the number of successful applicants by ensuring that qualified, low-income young immigrants are not deterred by their inability to pay the application fee. Funds will be dispersed to vetted local groups via a rigorous allocation process.
As DREAMers all over the country today submit their requests for Deferred Action, Public Interest Projects is launching the Fund for DREAMers, a national fundraising effort to support them. Recognizing that the application fee of $465 may be prohibitive for some applicants, a committed group of immigrant rights advocates and donors urged Public Interest Projects to create a fund to help offset these fees. It is estimated that more than one million young people, brought to the U.S. as children by their parents, may be eligible for Deferred Action.
The specific details of how this Fund will operate are still being worked out, and will be contingent upon the total amount raised and available. However, the Fund will:
- Be housed at Public Interest Projects, a 501c3 tax-exempt public charity that has extensive experience managing donor collaboratives and fiscal sponsorships. Public Interest Projects will oversee fundraising, establish an online donation site, manage and distribute the funds and provide staffing. Public Interest Projects will receive a modest fee from donations to cover expenses of administering the Fund.
- Have an advisory committee, comprised of DREAMers, legal services providers, advocates and donors, that will work with Public Interest Projects staff to develop guidelines and provide oversight for the allocation of funds to local groups;
- Ensure that grants will be made to vetted community-based organizations;
- Where applicable, allow donors to specify geographic priority for their donations (e.g. specific states, metropolitan areas, or multistate regions), although donors cannot specify individual recipients;
- Work closely with other philanthropic efforts taking place throughout the country to ensure non- duplication of similar efforts to assist DREAMers.
The Fund for DREAMers encourages individual donors, families, groups and charitable institutions to support young immigrants to pursue their dreams and contribute to our country’s future by donating to the Fund. Donations will be tax-deductible and accepted through the trusted website Network for Good, or by check (see FAQ for address).
To make a donation to help young immigrants to pursue their dreams, go to http://bit.ly/Fund4Dreamers
Public Interest Projects is a 501(c)(3) public charity that has been deeply involved in addressing many of the most challenging social issues facing the U.S. Founded in 1983, the organization helps foster a movement for social change by managing large-scale collaborative grantmaking funds and providing fiscal sponsorship to innovative new projects. Since 2002, Public Interest Projects has designed and lead 10 multi-million dollar collaborative grantmaking funds, including the Four Freedoms Fund, now in its ninth year of supporting the immigrant rights and integration movement. It currently works with more than 100 donors in six collaborative funds that have annual budgets ranging from $2 to $11 million. The organizations supports efforts in 37 states and the District of Columbia, and its current funder collaboratives made a total of more than $20 million in grants to 237 organizations in 2011.
**For media inquiries, please contact:
Robert Bray Director of Communications